Local Rule of Court 23 - TRIAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCES
All complaints for divorce and all post-divorce matters which have already been scheduled by the Judicial Secretary for contested trial will have a trial management/settlement conference. A trial management order shall issue from the Court, setting out the preparation required for the trial management/settlement conference. BOTH COUNSEL AND BOTH PARTIES MUST BE PRESENT IN OPEN COURT FOR THE TRIAL MANAGEMENT/SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE.
To prepare for the trial management/settlement conference in divorces, each attorney shall mail/fax/hand-deliver to the other a series of proposed filings to comply with Local Rule 10. [See text of Rule 10 below.] The exact scheduling of the exchanges between counsel can be detailed in the pre-trial order which the Court will issue. In any event, however, no later than the day of the trial management/settlement conference, counsel shall FILE with the clerk of the court one document, signed by both counsel, stipulating all MARITAL, SEPARATE, and DISPUTED STATUS assets and debts. If assets or debts are discovered/acquired after the Rule #10 filing, counsel may apply to the court by motion for an amendment; otherwise, the filing at time of the trial management/settlement conference will be binding and conclusive at trial.
At the trial management/settlement conference the following matters will be dealt with:
- Date for conclusion of any remaining discovery.
- Date for exchange of binding witness lists.
- Date for exchange of pre-numbered exhibits (wife) and pre-lettered exhibits (husband), the admissibility of which is not contested.
- Any other pre-trial matters counsel may wish to raise.
- A formal settlement conference. At the settlement conference issues will be defined and narrowed. Following that, parties and counsel will withdraw from the courtroom for negotiation and possible agreed resolution of outstanding issues. Counsel and parties will report the outcome of their negotiation in open court the same day. If an agreement is reached settling the case, the court will hear the agreement and--if indicated--bind the parties instanter. If no agreement has been reached, the issues remaining for trial will be noted and counsel will reduce the same to an Order Pursuant to Trial Management Conference.
Local Rule of Court 10 - MARITAL AND SEPARATE PROPERTY AND DEBT
At least forty-eight (48) hours before the day of trial, the parties shall file with the Clerk three (3) JOINTLY EXECUTED AGREED STIPULATIONS as to real and personal property, setting forth, pursuant to the criteria of Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-121: (1) the real and personal separate property and debt of each of the parties; (2) the real and personal marital property and debt of the parties; (3) the remaining real and personal property and debt of the parties, the character of which is disputed and to be decided by the Court. This last item consists of all real and personal property and debt of the parties not covered under the first two stipulations.
If either party separately desires--or the parties together desire to do so--he/she/they may additionally propose to the Court, at trial, after complying with the foregoing paragraph, a division of all or part of the marital property. The Court is not bound by the proposal, but will give proper consideration to the wish(es) of the party/parties.